Connections: Color and Ducks

It’s not always books that remind me of one another. Sometimes random, non-reading related things remind me of things I’ve read, like this bright yellow umbrella from ModCloth, called the “Duck, Duck Umbrella,” which reminded me of the Sylvia Plath poem, “Child,” which begins “Your clear eye is the one absolutely beautiful thing. / I want to fill it with color and ducks.”

Photo: hz536n

One of several Plath poems I know by heart, “Child” has always impressed me with the earnest simplicity of its phrasing and the love that seems to fill the poem, especially since so many of Plath’s other works are filled with anger, pain and death. “Child” certainly isn’t an untroubled poem…even the first two lines hint at a world that is desperate, a world with only “one absolutely beautiful thing”, and that thing itself in danger of being lost forever, one way or another.

In college I had a waterproof plastic color-changing ducky named Claude.

Ducks on a dashboard. Two of Claude's mates.

The ducks came from Target in sets of two, and I gave a lot of them out as gifts and kept several for myself, but Claude was always my favorite, even after his battery started to fail and he had to make regular trips to the “Ducky Hospital” to be revitalized.

When I’m feeling lost, unsettled or depressed, I always find Claude inexplicably comforting. Plath is right to wish for color and ducks.

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